Last night coconut, sweet potato, eggplant, curried rice with quinoa was just one of the dishes we served in the park to an estimated crowd of over two hundred hungry people. Yesterday, I was working all day to get ready to go down to the city. We laid out the veggies to be chopped and the bowls, chopping board, knife, and peeler for Kevin. I got out the stock pots and skillet; brought the rice, roaster pan, and spices up from the basement. I gave Kevin instructions to get him started, then went to Giant to get the ground beef for the soup. (They had a great sale.) Kevin chopped up a storm. He chopped cabbage, onions, eggplant, homegrown kohlrabi, carrots, ginger, white zucchini, parsley, and celery. I put frozen beef broth into the large stockpot and started that cooking. April and her boys had arrived with more ingredients. She chopped sweet potatoes and drained the water from a coconut and then sent Aidan out to smash it. She pureed it, turning it into coconut milk. We sauteed quinoa and put it in with the sweet potatoes that were cooking along with some onions and garlic and ginger and turmeric in the nine quart stockpot on the back burner. The smells were wonderful!
Kevin left just after noon. April and the boys left about 1. I made two rice cookers full of rice and got two roaster pans in the oven to slow cook, one for the headline dish, the second for a beans and rice with vegetables. I fried up 15 pounds of hamburger and chopped onion for the soup and added that. At. 3pm, I sat down. I thought I was going to check my email. I promptly fell asleep. ten minutes later the phone rang. I fell asleep for another ten minutes after that then up again to clean out the car and load up for a full crew. I made another trip to Giant to get the 10 gallons of iced tea and the cups and hot sauce. Deacon Herman and Ephrem showed up and I put them to work. Brian showed up and we finished loading and we left promptly at 7.
We had about 75 power packs from St. Philip’s vacation church school. Fr. Victor and Bob were waiting at the park for us with more than a hundred power packs from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, so we had enough to distribute to everyone who was in the line when we got there. What a blessing!
After we ran out of sandwiches and we were almost out of food, some young people showed up with sandwiches and bananas. They just joined our line and started handing things out without introducing themselves. they just walked into the middle of the bench and set their stuff down and started serving. One of our ladies came over and said i should come over and give them some direction, so I did. That’s how I discovered how they operated. I found that kind of funny. They said they had been down before. I asked them who they were with. They said they were with Keystone Church. They just sort of come out whenever they feel like it. I need to commend them for feeling like helping the homeless. I did gently let them know that we did this every week for 24 years. They would be welcome to join us. I was tempted to let them know about the whole health dept. regulation and all that, but they were just giving out sandwiches and I had more pressing ministry concerns to deal with at that moment. They were meeting a need in Jesus’ Name, if not in the most courteous manner. I’ve never been accused of that. (as the writer runs and hides form flying rotten tomatoes)
So we hung out and talked with several of the people. Then the rest of the crew got in the car and tried to leave without me. They repented and stopped and let me into the car. We dropped off Anthony at his son’s place, made our usual stop at Sunoco to see Shamyra, then home to Souderton. Of course, all along the way, we had lively discussion, mostly centered around music. Once again, I broadened the cultural horizons of most in the car by introducing them to the music of yet another ordinary looking white guy. (Don’t worry, Vera, Dn. Herman wasn’t that impressed with this guy. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time.) I arrived home well after 10pm. It was a long, exhausting, very much worthwhile day.
I forgot to mention the coconut, sweet potato, eggplant, curried rice with quinoa and lemon was a big hit!
Thank you to all who donate and all who pray to help keep this ministry going. Thank you to all the sandwich makers and the people who sort through clothes and those who garden and remember us with your produce. May God bless you.